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Patients with mild to moderate OSA may benefit from exercise
Date:5/6/2009

Practicing certain tongue and pharyngeal exercises may reduce symptoms of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to new research being published in the second issue for May of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Although CPAP is the gold standard treatment for severe OSA, the vast majority of subjects from epidemiological studies have mild or moderate OSA. The compliance to CPAP among mild to moderate OSA is variable, and there are only a few forms of alternative treatments for this large number of subjects and patients.

"It was commonly thought among doctors that strengthening and toning oropharyngeal muscles would have no benefit to the patient during sleep, but a recent study showed that didgeridoo playing helped decrease snoring and OSA," said Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, M.D., Ph.D. "This was a change of paradigm, and indicated that not everything you do during the day is lost during sleep."

Dr. Lorenzi-Filho and colleagues investigated the effects of exercises on the symptoms of OSA in the first randomized, controlled study to do so. They recruited a group of 31 recently-diagnosed patients, who were evaluated for OSA severity using polysomnography. Snoring frequency and intensity, daytime sleepiness and sleep quality were assessed using self-reports and validated questionnaires. The subjects were the randomized to two groupsthe exercise group and the control group. Each of the 16 individuals in the exercise group underwent a daily and weekly regimen of tongue and pharyngeal exercises. The 15 individuals in the control group underwent a sham treatment regimen involving deep breathing and nasal lavage with a saline solution.

After three months, there were no significant changes to OSA symptoms in the control group. However, the treatment group showed significant improvements in lowest oxygen saturation levels in blood, subjective sleepiness, snoring symptoms and quality of
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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